Magazine Article | February 1, 2000

Use Document ScanningTo Grow Your Business

Source: Field Technologies Magazine

Cuna Mutual had a scanning solution in place, but learned its hardware was being discontinued. The company had to find an alternative solution to continue growing its business.

Integrated Solutions, February 2000
Cuna Mutual is a financial services and insurance organization that provides services to credit unions. The company offers mutual funds, pension services, life insurance, and health insurance to credit union members. It also insures credit union buildings, financial assets, and loan services. The 5,000 employee, Madison, WI-based Cuna Mutual's paperwork supporting these services is enormous.

Problems With An Existing System
Cuna Mutual actually had a document imaging solution in place. Unusually, the problem it faced was not a brand new install, but rather the discontinuation of the IBM scanning and indexing products that Cuna Mutual was using. "We had a good solution in place and we felt comfortable with it," explains Perry Kempf, project manager of the image environment at Cuna Mutual. "Unfortunately, IBM ended its involvement in the scanning and indexing business. We were left with serious issues to face if we hoped to continue to successfully run the procedures that we had in place."

Searching For A Second Solution
About a year ago, Cuna Mutual realized that it was going to have to find a new solution and that's when the company began searching for an alternative solution. "We went through an exhaustive search," describes Kempf. "We sent out lots of RFPs (requests for proposals) trying to narrow the field. Cuna Mutual eventually chose Input Software, a company with which it already had a relationship." Input Software had been doing work with Cuna Mutual for several years. The technology provider had a long-standing relationship with Cuna Mutual, providing scanning and indexing software, as well as its workflow client.

Working Through A Changeover
Cuna Mutual receives claims related to loans from credit unions. The documents are received as hard copies and are then scanned and indexed. After the information is scanned, the claims wait in a queue until individual teams can process forms based on regions. The claim teams also do work such as getting information from doctors and paying claims to members. When claims arrive, they are prioritized by time. "It's a first-in, first-out scenario," explains Kempf. We can use the software to organize the queue and make sure that people take claims from the top of the queue and that nothing is pushed to the bottom of the pile.

This was the basic procedure for the company's document management and scanning solution, and it was important for Kempf in finding a solution to minimize the interruption of daily business. "The switch over went very smoothly," comments Kempf. "We really didn't even have any down time. Also, our workflow is working much better since we have switched over from the IBM equipment." The only rough spot for Cuna Mutual was a problem it had with capacity on the servers. But, after some minor adjustments, Kempf describes them as running "rock solid."

Benefits Of A Transition
Currently, Cuna Mutual handles 5 million documents annually. But, Kempf says that the company anticipates handling up to 12 million documents annually within two years. "We feel pretty confident we can handle that," says Kempf. "The document management and scanning solutions we use have given us the ability to handle more work without increasing labor. We are continually looking for ways to keep things electronic and get away from paperwork."

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